Mogadishu, Somalia – Fake Somali police officers have been enrolled in Russian-backed law enforcement training intended to bolster Somali police forces, according to leaked documents obtained by Horn Observer.
In May 2021, the Russian Embassy in Djibouti offered to support the Somali Police Force with a five-year training program that covers the psychology of law enforcement service, legal aspects of national security and investigation. forensic. The training took place in various universities attached to the Russian Ministry of the Interior.
However, when the Russian Ambassador to Djibouti and Somalia, Mr. Mikhail Golovanov, invited the Somali Police Chief, Abdi Hassan Hijar, to select suitable candidates for the training program, the Somali side did not followed due process and instead chose bogus officers who were signed up for the training program. Of course, officers familiar with the matter told Horn Observer.
The five officers enrolled in the training are: Jama Abshir Elmi, Harun Mohamed Yasin, Ahmed Abdishakur Mohamed, Abdisalan Suleiman Abdikarin and Abdirizak Mohamed Yusuf. According to the document, the five officers (one of whom was chosen as a reserve) were selected to attend Vladimir Kikot University in Moscow, a higher institution under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation.
“None of the five are real policemen. It is surprising that their passports were ordered and processed in less than a week and that all of their places of birth are listed as Lasanod except one who says he was born in Borama,” a senior Criminal Investigations Department official ( CID) who requested anonymity due to his identity. security told Horn Observer.
The Somali police chief, an ally of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, hails from the town of Lasanod in the Sool region.
“While 90% of Somali police officers are from the southern and central regions, it is difficult to authenticate the names of those who claim to be police officers,” adds the officer who even mentioned other incidents where the classification of the police has been mishandled and tampered with.
The Horn Observer investigation heard that junior officers reported the fake police list to President Farmaajo’s office.
“No action was taken. Apparently the president did not want to harm his ally General Abdi Hassan Hijar who is from the same clan as the president’s mother,” the officer adds.
Contacted for this report, Somali Police Chief General Abdi Hijar and his deputy General Zakia Hussein declined to answer our questions about the allegations.
CORRUPTION IN THE POLICE
Police training programs are another quick buck for senior officers, according to three officers who spoke to Horn Observer and a complaint report sent to Somalia’s Independent Anti-Corruption Commission.
“Due to high youth unemployment, this is seen by many young people as an opportunity to buy training slots in the police so that they migrate illegally to Europe, the United States and Canada. Most of the so-called officers sent over the past three years have not returned home. They escaped training and went into exile in other foreign countries,” they said.
The Police Administrative Command and Complaints Unit have repeatedly received complaints about officers being removed from their posts, their ranks being changed to other names.
“Minority clan officers are specifically targeted,” said the three officers who sent the complaint report.
COMPLAINT FROM THE LOWER SHABELLE OFFICER
In a complaint seen by Horn Observer, Wanla Weyn Police Commander Abdalla Boorow Mohamed wrote that one of his officers was wrongly marked as ‘disappeared and placed in circular’ after turning himself in to hospital due to injuries he sustained in late 2020 and was supported by a medical report from the hospital. The letter addressed to the Lower Shabelle Regional Police Command, Mr Boorow called for the soldier’s “suspension” to be lifted.
Despite the complaint, the officer is still suspended but his service number is active, which means his salary and allowance are being collected by someone else.
“I’m shocked that while I’m still suspended, my salary is being sent and someone else is receiving it. Not me,” Private Osman Omar Nuune told Horn Observer.
Credit: Horn Observer